Do you ever feel ordinary? Do you feel that you are one of the masses? Does the thought ever cross your mind that there is nothing special or unique about you? Do you envision yourself as one speck of sand along with billions of other specks?
Do you long for greatness? Do you desire to run faster, jump higher and be smarter in every area of your life? Do you yearn to break out of the pack and stand out from the crowd? Do you desire to create waves of change throughout this world?
I can honestly answer yes to all of these questions myself. As I look upon my to do list for my day, it doesn’t look much different than the last 254 days of this year, or the 365 days before that or the 365 days before that. Each day my list contains meal preparations, cleaning tasks, calls to schedule appointments, meetings to prepare for and laundry to be done.
Some days as I fold laundry, I imagine what it would be like to hold in my hand a published copy of my first book. I dream about speaking to thousands of people who attentively soak in my uplifting words of encouragement. I ponder the people I would meet at book signings in those brief moments of conversation as I make a connection with a quick note inside the cover of a book I wrote.
Quickly, I find the laundry basket is empty and I begin distributing clothes to their appropriate drawers. It is as I walk through each room that I am reminded of the multitude of ordinary tasks that await my tending. Bedding that needs to be washed. Girl Scout patches to be ironed or sewn on. A camera that hasn’t had pictures uploaded to the computer or put in memory books for months. Receipts that need to be entered into our financial management system and filed. Spots on the windows & mirrors, dust on the shelves, books I have yet to read, cards I need to write, clothes that need to be given away, trinkets that I can’t remember where they came from and a whole lot of papers that my kids have toted home from school so I could review and recycle.
My heart can’t help and ponder what it would be like to be extraordinary. To truly be that unique original that stands out from the crowd. But is that what I really want? Is that the desire of my heart? Will a best selling book, crowds of raving fans and thousands of attentive ears at conferences really make me extraordinary? Will it leave a legacy of lasting positive change upon this world?
Proverbs 31:10 says, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Interesting. It does not say a Proverbs 31 woman shines like a ruby. It does not say she stands out in a crowd. It does not say her face graces the cover of a magazine or is highlighted on the evening news. It does not say she is being pulled up on video clips the world over.
Who can find? Who can find a Proverbs 31 woman? Could it possibly be that she is uncommonly common?
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness,” Proverbs 31:27. A Proverbs 31 woman cares for her home and all who enter it. She tends to the tiniest of detail, the ones that people only notice when they go undone. She cares for them without purposefully drawing attention to what she is doing or how she does it. Things tend to go smoothly when she is around, yet she does not receive glowing credits for it. It may be years, if ever, before those closest to her give recognition for her generosity.
A Proverbs 31 woman leaves a legacy of lasting change by being extraordinarily ordinary. She masters the craft of focusing her attention on the mundane and the repetitive opportunities to serve. She nurses the hopes, the goals and the dreams of others through all that she does for them.
For the children in school, she sings the same lullaby each night so that they may find themselves gently rocked into the harbor of sweet dreams. For her husband, she packs a lunch that will fuel him through his afternoon schedule so that the focus of his attention may be on his work with minimal distraction.
For a friend, she writes a card for no specific reason other than as a reminder that her struggles are not in vain, and that victory is near. The words in the card offer comfort and that gentle encouragement to keep pressing on towards the goal. For a stranger, she pauses to open the door so they may pass first; a smile is shared perhaps making their day a bit brighter through a chance encounter.
Across many lives her actions become tiny jewels stored in the hearts of those who have connected with this one ordinary woman. They store the cards they received from her in their secret places, re-reading them when they are feeling a bit blue. Their accomplishments made possible by her prayers for perseverance and provision. Their minds are filled with fond memories of conversation over coffee or cookies, the times of need or desperation when she suddenly appeared and the times that they could truly be at rest with who they were in her presence. Their hearts filled with the warmth of her hugs, the tears she shared with them and the laughter they enjoyed together.
These are the extraordinary jewels that leave a legacy of lasting positive impact upon this world.
This is the treasure that is unsurpassed in its priceless value.
It is the precious ruby that is so deeply embedded and concealed in the common life, “who can find”.
My dear reader, please allow these words to sink into your heart; precious, treasure, uncommon, cherished. You are those things! In spite of what the world tells you, and contrary to the messages that bombard you through the multimedia blitzkrieg of daily life in the age of technology, you are extraordinary! You are one of a kind! You are “worth far more than rubies”!
Each and every day, through every mundane and repetitive task you do, you are building up treasures in heaven. Each chore, each assignment is an opportunity for you to take the thread of your life and give it to God so that He may weave it into the grand design of His master tapestry.
Oh how awesome You are! My words fall so short of bringing proper praise to Your name. I am so humbled that I have the opportunity to bring glory to Your name through the most common of actions in my life.
I pray in this day that our eyes and our hearts would be open to the true greatness that lies in the smallest of actions in our lives. I pray that we would be able to have a mere glimpse at how a little each day can go a long way to leaving a legacy of lasting positive change.
May each person who reads these words find themselves abundantly blessed by You. May they find favor in Your eyes. In each simple task they partake in today, may they find an unyielding smile blesses their faces and hearts. In Jesus name, amen.